Overview of Australia's aid program to Nauru

How we are helping

2014/15 Bilateral Budget Estimate
$21.2 million

2015/16 Bilateral Budget Estimate
$21.2 million

2015/16 Total Australian ODA Estimate
$25.9 million

DFAT will manage an estimated $21.2 million in bilateral funding to Nauru in 2015-16.  Total Australian Official Development Assistance to Nauru in 2015-16 will be an estimated $25.9 million.

Australia is Nauru’s most significant donor partner, contributing approximately 20 per cent of domestic revenue in 2013-14. The development assistance program is helping to build and strengthen Nauru’s own public sector systems and essential services for the community. Our assistance is focused on advancing Nauru’s own development planning and priorities by supporting Nauru to frame its own investment choices around reform and promotion of good governance.

Most Nauruans live modest lifestyles based on low incomes. Unemployment levels, particularly among youth have been typically very high since the mid-1990s. However, recent significant growth in the private sector has resulted in Nauru now enjoying almost full employment with many households now earning higher incomes than has been the case for many years. Despite this, poor health and education outcomes persist. Despite significant progress in reducing Nauru’s debt burden in recent years, high debt levels continue to absorb significant funding and the economy is easily affected by external influences. Energy and clean water production are reliant on the costly importation of diesel fuel. Public sector management is hampered by a lack of skilled and qualified personnel, and critical national infrastructure is dilapidated.

Australia and Nauru entered into a Partnership for Development in 2009 with the shared objective of supporting stable, trustworthy and fiscally responsible government; enhancing the provision of social, infrastructure and utilities services; and supporting the development of an economy based on multiple sources of income. The program focusses on the following priorities:

More efficient and accountable public sector management

Australia is helping the Government of Nauru to support implementation of its strategies for public sector reform, improved economic governance and financial management including delivery and management of national budgets, reducing fiscal risk and improving revenue generation.

Governance assistance in Nauru

Reliable and cost effective provision of infrastructure and essential services

Australian is helping to improve the reliability and cost effectiveness of power and water services by strengthening governance, maintenance and cost recovery arrangements; increasing the use of renewable energy sources and clean water capture, particularly at the household level; and by supporting the maintenance and development of essential infrastructure such as schools, health facilities and power and water distribution systems.

Improved education

Australia will invest in education services supporting the Government of Nauru’s education sector strategies. The strategy aims to deliver education pathways that develop locally and regionally relevant skills emphasizing more and better qualified teachers, improving student retention rates and education attainment levels and enhancing access to quality tertiary and technical and vocational education services.

Education assistance in Nauru

A cost effective health system which delivers improved health outcomes

Australia is working closely with Nauru to build a stronger healthcare system that will improve maternal and child health outcomes by addressing child nutrition and improving access to quality ante and post natal care. Our investments aim to reduce the prevalence of non-communicable diseases and sexually transmitted infections through more effective preventative and public health programs. We are strengthening health system management, including strategic planning, infrastructure redevelopment, budget prioritization and improved collection and management of health statistics.

Health assistance in Nauru

Our results

  • With support from Australia, Nauru has achieved 100 per cent primary school enrolment in 2013-14, up from just 69 per cent in 2002.
  • Australian assistance has helped Nauru maintain a 95 per cent coverage rate for key vaccines including tuberculosis, measles, hepatitis B, polio, diphtheria and tetanus.
  • The Australian funded debt management strategy has helped Nauru reduce its overall debt burden by more than 90 percent since 2006.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop pictured with Nauru's Minister for Education Hon. Charmaine Scotty, MP and students from Nauru Secondary School (credit: DFAT).
Billboard, Nauru
Billboard, Nauru (credit: DFAT).
A woman holding medicine
Providing important medicines at Nauru Hospital (credit: DFAT).